Exploring Effects of Global Warming on the Antarctic Coast

Friday, 30 January 2009
Kokatat Logo(Arcata, CA - Jan 30th)  Cristian Donoso, Juan Pablo Ortega and Roger Rovira are currently underway on their Antarctic kayak expedition. After reaching the Antarctic Peninsula in January 2008, the team departed on a 550-mile self-supported kayak journey to the Palmer Archipelago and the Danco Coast to study wildlife density and explore the effects of global warming on the Antarctic coast from the low impact perspective of a kayak expedition.

Donoso hopes to inform the public about the consequences of global warming on the wildlife and sceneries of the Antarctic coast through photographic and audiovisual records of landscapes and wildlife in this region. The materials collected will be used to create a documentary film, a book, magazine articles and a website.

"The Antarctic Peninsula is warming five times faster than the average rate of Earth's overall warming. Many species that had evolved the capacity to live in these cold, icy and harsh conditions are now losing their only home," reports Donoso.

After reaching the Antarctic Peninsula, Donoso and his team will be completely self-supported without the assistance of any vessel, previous food or equipment deposits or any other kind of external help. Along with the inaccessibility of the coast, other geographical aspects that defy the expedition's logistics are the isolation, the furious Antarctic storms and the ice flows formed by the agglomeration of icebergs pushed by the wind.

During the first month, Donoso's team will circumnavigate the Anvers and Brabant Islands, first seen in February 1820 by Nathaniel Palmer on the voyage where he discovered Antarctica. During this first 300-mile stage, the team will survey the north coast of the Anvers Island- a coastline that is rarely explored due to its countless rocks, small islands and shallow waters exposed to the open sea. Also planned are visits to the bases Lockroy (England), Palmer (U.S.), and Islas Melchior (Argentina).

During the second month, the team will explore the Danco coast fjords, as deep as the ice flows allow it, navigating nearly 200 miles between the Chilean Gabriel Gonzalez Videla base and the Argentinean Primavera base. From there the team will cross to Trinidad Island, circumnavigating and exploring its coast until reaching the Mikkelsen Bay, where they will be picked up in late February by the Antarctic Dream.

To follow the team on their Antarctic journey, please visit www.antarctickayak.com.


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David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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